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Heuristic Design of Advanced Martensitic Steels That Are Highly Resistant to Hydrogen Embrittlement by ε-Carbide


Many advanced steels are based on tempered martensitic microstructures. Their mechanical strength is characterized by fine sub-grain structures with a high density of free dislocations and metallic carbides and/or nitrides. However, the strength for practical use has been limited mostly to below 1400 MPa, owing to delayed fractures that are caused by hydrogen. A literature survey suggests that ε-carbide in the tempered martensite is effective for strengthening. A preliminary experimental survey of the hydrogen absorption and hydrogen embrittlement of a tempered martensitic steel with ε-carbide precipitates suggested that the proper use of carbides in steels can promote a high resistance to hydrogen embrittlement. Based on the surveys, martensitic steels that are highly resistant to hydrogen embrittlement and that have high strength and toughness are proposed. The heuristic design of the steels includes alloying elements necessary to stabilize the ε-carbide and procedures to introduce inoculants for the controlled nucleation of ε-carbide.

Countries: Japan

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